run interference


Handle problems or help clear the way for another, as in The press secretary runs interference for the governor. This term comes from football, where it refers to the blocking of defensive players by offensive players to let the ball carrier advance. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.